One of those people in my life was Susie Rathbone. This past Saturday friends and family gathered to celebrate her life. She died several weeks ago--suddenly and in her sleep. I still can't believe it.
Susie was part of a women's spirituality group I facilitated when we lived at Sweetwater Farm during our Ohio years. I called them the "Lovely Women," and Susie was one of the loveliest. Lovely in spirit, in zest and enthusiasm for life and learning, and in love itself. Not without her own challenges, of course, still she leaned into the light and taught the rest of us to do that, too.
Susie's memorial service was led by one of the other Lovely Women, and she did a magnificent job sharing her memories of Susie and expressing what so many of us felt about Susie and how "like a rising tide she lifted us all."
Others had asked to speak about Susie, too, and what struck me was how each of them said many of the same things about her--her love of learning and her need to know and understand, her sense of humor and play and even mischief, and yes, that sense of joy. Plus, a deep devotion to her family.
One of the lessons I hope I can learn from Susie is to live from my essence. To be my True Self. That's what Susie did. She wasn't one thing to one person and another to someone else. She was Susie. Yesterday. Today. And tomorrow--in our hearts.
Her wonderful husband, Tom, whom she loved with all her heart, recently shared that they were at the "height of their happiness." How amazing to be able to say that, to know that so clearly. And what a lesson for the rest of us. Even if life doesn't feel like the "height of happiness" at the moment, I wonder if it isn't possible to live as if it were.
How appropriate that Susie's memorial service was also her birthday. Happy Birthday, Susie. Thank you for the light you brought into this world. I will miss you.
In what ways can you live at the "height of happiness" every day? I would love to know.